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How do you deal with this?

(51 Posts)
lougle Sun 25-Aug-13 21:20:25

DD2 (no diagnosis - school convinced NT. I'm certain she's not) is now 6.

She went to Nanny and Grandad's yesterday, did cooking with Grandad. We all came to eat her cooking for tea. She wanted a sleepover and was granted one. She had a lovely time. Slept well, watched telly in bed with Nanny and Grandad, helped Grandad make breakfast. Nanny took her to the swings, etc.

I was cooking a Sunday Roast for us all at our house. They arrived and DD2 was very happy. Her mood in general deteriorated and she was starting to be quite stroppy.

Then, she got really tearful. DH had set the dinner table and placed DD2 next to Nanny. She didn't want to be next to Nanny. Once she starts, she can't let it go. DH is also not great at flexibility. She got really upset and insistent that she couldn't possibly sit next to Nanny. I was in the kitchen so unaware of it.

She tried to rein it in, but when I asked her what the problem was she started crying and said 'I can't tell you.' I said that she must tell me. She then said 'But it's about your parents and I don't want you to be cross.' We talked and I pointed out all the lovely things Nanny had done with her.

Nanny was upset, although being very understanding, but I was cross.

Anyhoo.

At the dinner table DD2 got really loud about no-one sitting next to her. I had moved DM from next to her, to next to me. I explained that as she had made a fuss, I'd moved Nanny, so that's why no-one was sitting next to her.

She started yelling that no-one loved her. I said 'I love you, but you've hurt Nanny and I think you need to do something.' She said 'Sorry? I need to say sorry? But that won't make it ok hmm.'

She's right. But she can't see that it would be a start.

How do you explain that sometimes you just do something because it's the right thing to do?

lougle Tue 27-Aug-13 18:24:11

We've put LfT on hold for the summer so that she can focus on getting some physical confidence - Gymnastics summer club and some swimming sessions. She was reluctant to do anything 'schooly' so I felt a break was best.

Thanks for that, Kleinzeit.

Kleinzeit Tue 27-Aug-13 17:10:25

One thing I like about my DS’s social skills teacher is that she never said that my DS “had” to learn to do this or that. Instead she looks at what he can do now, and she looks at what is the next step in development or understanding from there, and she helps him to take that next small step in the right direction. It might not be the whole thing, it might not be the fully appropriate behaviour, but it is the next step along the way.

I can even remember celebrating myself the first time I caught my DS telling a fib because telling a fib to get out of trouble is the first step towards telling a fib out of kindness. (Of course he didn’t get away with it smile)

Little steps. With your help lougle your DD will go a long way!

grin

How's the Language for Thinking going?

lougle Tue 27-Aug-13 08:58:15

So this morning DD2 took a bottle of juice without permission (they drink water but have a fruitshoot with sunday dinner).

I explained that we have a budget and if she had the juice now, then one day she may have to have water while her sisters had their fruitshoot.

I said 'Do you understand?'

She said 'yes....erm Mum? Are you actually concerned that you are a budgie?' then she delicately flapped her arms.

I won't win grin

lougle Mon 26-Aug-13 23:25:35

Star flowers I get in that muddle all the time. DD1 needs a totally different explanation to DD2, who in turn needs a totally different explanation to wiseacre DD3.

I end up saying 'erm..well it works like...well not exactly like that DD2, I wasn't being completely literal....well, yes, DD3, you could do that and that might happen and you're right, so and so might then happen and ....oh forget it.'

lougle Mon 26-Aug-13 23:23:07

It's so hard to watch her confusion. She's not trying to be naughty. That much is obvious.

Her latest phrase is 'huh...it's so obvious, really.'

She was upset because DD3 was annoying her and she came to me from her room, crying and whining. I was frustrated and said 'DD2, if she's annoying you, just go somewhere else!'. She cocked her head to the side, laughed and said 'Huh...it's so obvious, really.' Then, with a big grin she trotted down the stairs into the lounge confused It was at that point I realised that she really didn't know how to get away from her sister and actually needed me to give her a solution.

How can you not know that if someone is annoying you and you can get away, you should get away??

I do love her.

My Aunt came to our house today and brought the children both a lollipop.

After ds had eaten his he said to my Aunt. 'I want another one'.

I didn't know where to start. First I had to explain that it was very rude because he didn't say please'.

Then I had to model 'I really enjoyed that Lollipop, thank you' and then explained that that is what you say if you want said Aunt to bring you another lollipop next time. Then I got in a muddle and said to ds 'erm, but she might not bring you one next time, you're just really showing that you are grateful that she brought it, as that is the right thing to do'.

And then I thought 'actually, DD will have worked out that she increases her chances of a lollipop next time but acting grateful, and isn't JUST being polite in her gratitude'.

And then ds started to get tearful, because he hadn't got a clue what I was telling him to do, or how he was supposed to get another lollipop and couldn't remember the long sentence that I had told him to say to my Aunt and it was all, quite frankly, a disaster.

So, I'm a rubbish parent.....

zzzzz Mon 26-Aug-13 23:12:04

Oh and in answer to "that wont make it ok" , my feeling would be that it doesn't make it ok but it does make it better. It starts you on the path to ok.

zzzzz Mon 26-Aug-13 23:09:05

I absolutely agree that good behaviour STARTS with our nearest and dearest and then is generalised to others.

Why ever not Lougle?

This thread is a discussion of beliefs and experiences. Some posts you will find helpful, and other's less so, but even the less-so ones are helpful to hear, in the broader scale of 'difficult parenting', because we're all trying to navigate acceptable paths for ourselves and our children.

It was a good OP question.

lougle Mon 26-Aug-13 22:59:57

I agree.

FWIW, I go absolutely overboard with praise and reinforcement for appropriate behaviour with her. She adores praise and she basks in it, so I make sure that I notice every single bit of generous behaviour on her part.

I make a fuss when she's allowed her sister to have her favourite colour bowl when she was eying it up herself. I praise her when she doesn't fuss if things don't go quite her way. I point out how great she was at negotiating with her sister when she wants to borrow her IPad. I make sure she doesn't give up on her wishes too easily because she's much more willing to concede than her sisters. I praise her for her reading.

I make sure that I praise her effort rather than her ability. I make sure that I point out not only that I'm happy with her, but why I'm happy with her, so that she can repeat her success.

I shouldn't have posted.

I hear you Lougle and I agree completely. The child has to behave in an acceptable way for her own sake, and even if the reasons are not fully understood, it still has to happen for to the best of your and her ability. This is because if she DOES have communication difficulties she'll need MORE practice at social interactions, not less, and you don't want people withdrawing from her.

I know a child with very severe ASD who has had to learn not to masturbate in public. He appears to have no understanding as to why not, but he still has to follow the protocol imposed on him by the adults responsible for him.

Having said all of that though, I do think a couple of things are key to remember. 1) As far as possible you need to find the root cause, because if you understand the reasons for the behaviour you can help to change it causing the least anxiety, and 2) You can't possibly teach all lessons at once otherwise you'll be on the poor girl's case all the time, and whilst she might need MORE teaching than a obviously NT child, you still need to prioritise and get a balance, beginning with a mix of both the easiest lessons, and the most pressing ones.

You also need to make absolutely certain that each lesson/desired behaviour is they are broken down into manageable chunks for her to be successful and encouraged by.

And try as much as you can, to remember to celebrate and reward and go overboard when she achieves even a small step towards the improved behaviour, and as far as possible, if it isn't the current lesson, ignore the mistakes. Also make sure that she has enough down-time if she's tried hard.

lougle Mon 26-Aug-13 22:48:03

What makes you think that she doesn't get understanding and acceptance from me? I give her stacks of understanding and acceptance.

It's also my job to help her behave appropriately.

HisMum4now Mon 26-Aug-13 22:36:31

lougle, all this is good and right and how can one argue with any of that.
I guess my point is really that ASD kids are vulnerable and need understanding and acceptance first and foremost. They might be reasonable to expect that from their mummy. Because if not, from whom else then?

lougle Mon 26-Aug-13 22:18:11

"you seem to very switched on correct behaviour and showing being kind. If your DD is autistic, she might not understand what you expect from her and feel that she can't do what you want..."

I am absolutely switched on to correct behaviour. DD2 is 6 years old now. She absolutely cannot continue to hit, pull, pinch, grab hair, etc., when she doesn't get what she wants. She wouldn't dream of doing it at school so she can control it.

I fully understand that keeping it together in other areas can lead to release at home, but the behaviour is still unacceptable.

I don't expect DD2 not to feel how she feels. I don't expect that to change. But she is going to have to learn that there are somethings that you do just because it's the right thing to do, regardless of how you feel.

Just as I expect DD1 to learn to wait for things, even though she finds it hard, and I expect her to stay out of the swimming pool once I've got her out, regardless of how much she wants to jump back in.

It won't do any good to DD2 to be allowed to behave rudely to her Grandparents. How on earth will she learn to behave kindly to other people if she can't even behave with her family, who she loves?

pannetone Mon 26-Aug-13 22:07:33

That bit resonated with me HisMum when you said of lougle you seem to very switched on correct behaviour and showing being kind. If your DD is autistic, she might not understand what you expect from her and feel that she can't do what you want...

My 8 year old DD has recently got a HFA diagnosis and I just realised from your post that me being somewhat of a stickler for good manners and treating others kindly, may be totally counter productive in getting the behaviour I'm seeking. I thought that a 'zero tolerance' type approach was best (and that has seemed to work for my NT child) but I can see now that I may be asking something of DD that she can't do - and her confusion makes her more anxious and more prone to meltdown.

This ASD thing is still a learning curve and I have 2 older boys on the spectrum too!

HisMum4now Mon 26-Aug-13 20:52:57

lougle, it is a good idea to keep a diary of all these events and get it out when you will discuss with the school. For most the diagnosis is a very long term process.

I wouldn't necessarily assume she is emotionless, she might be extremely upset herself, and shows it this way. I think ASD DC show emotions differently, not in the way other people expect.
You seem to be very switched on on correct behaviour and showing being kind. If your DD is autistic, she might not understand what you expect from her and feel that she can't do what you want... So she might test this further by being more provocative...

I consulted the Psychologist for DS2 suspecting ASD when he was smearing you know what. She said he might be attention seeking. If i have hot buttons about autistic behaviours, she explained, he might have noticed that and basically pushes them. I am certain there is more to DS2 than that, but there is some attention seeking communication with me indeed. (I am not saying your DD is attention seeking, I wouldn't know obviously)

lougle Mon 26-Aug-13 20:46:31

Handy, I think your DD2 and mine are dopplegangers wink

lougle Mon 26-Aug-13 20:45:53

I forgot my manners. Thank you all flowers

Handywoman, SENCO is on board in the sense that she can see what I'm saying about DD2's ways, but I doubt she's met her to form her own opinion. Her suggestions re. ELSA are all in response to our description of her behaviours at home. Teacher said at the end of term that she'd noticed DD2 had misinterpreted some instructions, but otherwise the process will be very slow, I think.

DD1's carer says that DD2 is 'really the strangest child....'

My Mum and Dad are wonderful with her and overlook her many comments. She's a lovely girl, she just doesn't understand that she's being unkind.

She is so very lovely.

Handywoman Mon 26-Aug-13 20:41:56

Even if dd2 doesn't present enough for a formal dx I do think there's enough in common for you to perhaps interpret some of her behaviours through that lens.

This is exactly where we are at. Still waiting for NHS assessment, but not holding breath for a dx. School think dd2 simply "a one off".

PolterGoose Mon 26-Aug-13 20:38:21

lougle so much of how you have described your dd2 is reminiscent of my ds who has Aspergers... If, and it's a big tentative if, your dd has an ASD then the behaviour you describe makes absolute perfect sense to me. And the ability to present as 'NT' in school and other out of home settings is typical of many children with such dx's. Girls especially will mimic social behaviours and do a good job of appearing NT, but it is just not sustainable all the time, because it is extremely hard work maintaining a facade of 'normal'. Even if dd2 doesn't present enough for a formal dx I do think there's enough in common for you to perhaps interpret some of her behaviours through that lens.

Handywoman Mon 26-Aug-13 20:33:35

I thought SENCO at new school was on board, Lougle?

lougle Mon 26-Aug-13 20:25:27

I think what I struggle with most, is that she's so flat and emotionless when other people are hurt.

She sees everything so...left-field.

She kicked DD3 directly in the sternum with her foot sideways. When I talked to her about it she said 'but I'm the Karate kid confused KickButowskiiiiiiii.....' She could see her sister crying and cradling her chest, but didn't see the problem.

She pulled DD1's hair and DD1 cried. I talked to her and asked if she pulled her hair. She said 'yes, but not that hard confused.' Then she was furious that I was sending her to the naughty step when it 'wasn't even that bad.'

She says very unkind direct critical comments to people, then when they are upset she looks at them blankly as if they are some curious other species sad

I don't know what's going on. I can't understand how school don't see any real issues, yet at home she's clearly not 'typical'.

HisMum4now Mon 26-Aug-13 20:13:59

Polter, we are prioritising wink

I noticed that this regression to cake snatching happens when DS is more tired, more stimulated than usual. Last time it was at the end of a very eventful play date with 2 friends. [THE WHOLE TWO FRIENDS for the first time!] So I suppose it's a reversal to safety and routine.
OP, were there many guests that day? Maybe your DD was overstimulated ...

Handywoman Mon 26-Aug-13 20:11:14

Another slacker here! When dd2 is calm I tend to think 'hooray' and forget to teach her. When feelings run high I deffo take the path of least resistance.

Though I have often tried to get to the bottom of things after the dust has settled, which seems to cause dd2 simply to 'relive' it and repeat, ad nauseam "but X was so rude to me..." (original response) as per the original scenario. Round and round in circles we go, until my heart sinks. In fact I don't think I've ever been able to 'unpick' anything after the event sad

'does not reach the severity threshold for a formal diagnosis' my foot angry

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